With only two series in the third round, I can be either half-right, completely right, or completely wrong. No more of this 75% stuff.
Series: Detroit Red Wings (2) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (4)
My prediction: Red Wings in 7.
What actually happened: Red Wings won in 5.
Thoughts: While I was hoping that the Blackhawks would pull off an upset and make it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992, I knew that they could not beat the Red Wings this year. The Wings depth players performed well, while most of the Blackhawks depth players were nowhere to be seen in this series. Byfuglien, Ladd and Bolland were all non-factors.
I was right about the winner, but really thought the ‘Hawks would test the Wings better. Oh well. What do Cubs fans say? Oh yeah, Wait ’til next year!
Series: Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (6)
My Prediction: Penguins in 7.
What actually happened: Penguins in 4.
Thoughts: Ah, stupid ‘Canes. Two weeks ago, I stated
At this point, no team is just going to roll over and die. The Penguins will win the series, but it will be another hard-fought battle. The Hurricanes bumped off two teams ranked above them–the Devils in Round 1 and the Bruins in Round 2. Clearly, this team is for real.
Hard fought? This team is for real? Not only does that sound hokey and cliched, but it was wrong. I stated that the Hurricanes would not “roll over and die”, but that’s pretty much what they did. Other than the first game, which the Pens won by a single goal, the rest of the games were lopsided victories for Pittsburgh.
By the way, during Game 2 I heard Versus commentator Darryl Reaugh say “The Malkin Mind Meld,” in reference to one of Evegeni Malkin’s goals. Dude, seriously–keep Star Trek out of hockey. I can see the appeal of alliteration, but using it for a thinly-veiled sci-fi reference is just sad. Now, had Tomas Vokoun been tending the nets for either team, Vokoun Mind Meld might have been funny.
Well, I did pick the winners of each series, but come on–anyone could have done that. Those kids from Mozambique that we see in those “Right to Play” ads could have picked the conference winners. I’m not saying that kids from Mozambique don’t know hockey–I’m just saying that once the Sharks and Capitals were out of the way, everyone was smelling a rematch of last year’s final.